In a recent letter to Congress, the Metal Trades Department and its industry partners expressed their strong opposition to the Sand Acquisition, Nourishment, and Development (SAND) Act.
See the text of the letter below:
On behalf of our industries, we write in opposition to S. 279, the Sand Acquisition, Nourishment, and Development (SAND) Act, and any derivation thereof that may be attached to S. 2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. We stand united against any amendment to WRDA that would remove the current environmental and economic standards that accompany the importation of beach fill from foreign sources.
Our industries have long been opposed to this proposal because it will unfairly provide a marketplace advantage to foreign sources of this product. As you are aware, the United States has much higher labor and environmental standards than some of our country’s global market competitors. We compromise our environment, health and quality standards and impact American jobs by tilting the playing field towards foreign sources. There is enough sand in Florida to supply nourishment and fill for the state’s beaches for decades.
The aggregates industry provides more than 13,000 metric tons of sand and gravel from almost 150 Floridian quarries, directly employing thousands of people. The U.S. dredging industry builds its ships in the United States including in Panama City, Fla., and is America’s leading builder of dredges. The ships are U.S.-built, crewed with U.S. citizens and owned by U.S. companies. If the SAND Act or a similar amendment were to become law, then sand would be sourced from overseas on foreign-flagged and foreign-built ships that are not staffed by the U.S. Merchant Marines. It is counterintuitive to invest in the nation’s infrastructure while burdening American products and jobs.
Our industries strongly support WRDA. This is an essential bipartisan bill that will maintain and strengthen America’s vital water infrastructure. As such, we urge a “no vote” on any amendment that would strike key economic, environmental and national security standards for beach fill importation.
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
Michael W. Johnson, President & CEO
Dredging Contractors of America
William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director
Associated General Contractors of America
James Christianson, Vice President of Government Relations
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO
James V. Hart, President
International Union of Operating Engineers
James T. Callahan, General President
Maritime Trades Department AFL-CIO
Michael Sacco, President